Jack & Lucy

“Jack, the Witch is coming. Be very quiet.”

His face was stone cold, not even a twitch of a muscle. She pushed Jack over a little, “Hide under the bush.” She leaned over protecting Jack from sight. “The Witch will come for you, and then she’ll put a spell on you, so you’ll never wake again, ” the girl whispered in his ear.

She held his hand down, “Stop moving. You don’t want that to happen do you?” His eyes, dark as coal, stared straight ahead not giving anything away. She shoved a chestnut curl from her face, and looked up just in time.

“Jack! Look out! The tree is collapsing!” The girl pushed Jack rolling with him from harms way. “The Witch will surely have heard us, Jack. We’re no longer safe.” The girl’s pudgy hand brushed aside dirt and leaves, “We need a new hide out.”

A voice came from the distance, “Lucy, lunch is ready!”

“Jack it’s the Witch! She is going to eat us!” There was scuffling and then a great shaggy mane could be seen from the entrance of the girl’s hide out. “The beast has come to drag us down to be cooked. Look at his dirty paws and great big teeth. Our end has come Jack. We must escape.”

Lucy scrambled from under the hideout pulling Jack at her heals. They left in their wake a mess of collapsed sheets, blankets and chairs littering the ground. Skidding by a large sheep dog who seemed unconcerned by the events. Lucy ran smack in a tall woman walking up the stairs with same chestnut curls.

“Ahh! The Witch, The Witch, she got me!!! I’m going to sleep forever.” She promptly pretended to faint in her arms.

The woman peered closely into the little girl’s face, “I will put you into a deep sleep and eat all of your lunch.”

“No! It’s my lunch!” Lucy said as she snapped awake. She tugged on Jack, let’s go get some food.

Jack didn’t budge. He was staring at Lucy from the top of the stairs with his coal black eyes, a somber look on his face. Lucy turned to look at why Jack wasn’t following her and she screamed. In her hand a small brown paw dangled lifeless.

“Mother! Mother! Jack! His arm!” She pelted full speed to the fluffy bear sitting at the top of the stairs and cradled him in her arms.  “Don’t you worry Jack, mother can fix you right up. I won’t leave your side.” Lucy hugged him firmly. Gingerly, she led him down the stairs to where lunch and a hospital bed awaited Jack, her faithful companion.

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First Day of Winter

November twenty-second, winter settled in my bones. Twigs crackled under my feet like my brittle bones in this damp chill. A cacophony of birds has taken shelter in a hodge-podge of trees. I myself had found refuge under a meek looking pine. The rain cascaded down.

Camping, came to mind. Wet pine and tree. The melting marshmallows over poping red-yellow fire. It had been a few years, but the memory was still fresh. I had seen her then.

I stood up into a puddle-turned-lake, my shoes soaked through. Socks becoming a soggy, squishy mush on my toes. The one day a year my mother would come to visit, and I was a squeaky, squashy sopping mess. I tucked my hair into my hood lifting it onto my head. Darkness settled over the city casually, extending its fingers cloud by cloud, star by star until a light dusting of blackness blanketed my way home. I hoped she would show.

Finding Sarah

It was the night, when darkness crept in through the cracks, filling the empty spaces. Everything was still, unmoving and the silence was deafening. A cricket’s chirp echoed like the yell atop a canyon. Wind whipped and whistled through the window. Sirens, cars, water pipes created their own marching band outside. It was when the moon hovered above her window, staring with its blank, “man in the moon” face; this was when the woman felt overwhelmingly alone.

A letter has meaning. It fits into the alphabet. When taken out of the alphabet it is used to form words. Without words a person could not read, write, or speak. Therefore we need letters. Each one is important and meaningful, they are necessary. The woman thought of this.

She was not. She did not fit. Nor, did anyone need her to make something of a larger whole. The woman stared at her shabby, undecorated apartment. She considered, the walls had no color. She hardly had furniture. The air mattress she slept on at night slowly leaked air in a quiet, “hisss”, until by the morning she was lying flat on the ground. God must have sneezed when he thought to put her on this planet.

The woman walked to her drab closet. In it was a selection of no name clothing. Something simple for work. No fuss. She selected one of the khakis and a shirt. It was a mechanical process repeated each day out of necessity. Then she walked the four miles to work.

Leaves crunched under her feet and she crossed to the sidewalk. The woman watched the bus pull into the stop. A thought crossed her mind. She could do it. Quick, a little less painful then being a shadow on a wall. The tousled brown hair caught her peripheral as she considered. The woman decided to follow the boy instead. He wore nice jeans, converse and a polo. She wondered why he was in the alley.

The boy stopped and set something down. He turned and caught her eye. His emerald eyes pierced her skin like knives, they looked familiar. The boy jetted out the back fence before she could catch up to him. She paused where he had stopped. There was a piece of notebook paper tucked haphazardly into an envelope. The woman scooped it up.  Carefully, she pulled out the paper and opened it, where she found a handwritten note.

Dear Mom (Sarah Marie McDougal),

Dad needs your help. Don’t make any rash decisions. Please.

I love you.

Your son,

Orion James

She staggered backwards almost falling to the pavement. Her grandfather had been called Orion James. The bus pulled away from the stop as she walked to work. Sarah took the stairs up to her office, pondering the note.

“Sarah! I need to speak with you.”

The voice of her boss reached her ears. She looked up. James’ emerald green eyes met hers.

Inspiration

Sometimes my words are empty. They come out with too much air in between and not enough mass. I’m losing detail. My inspiration is drying like rain on a summer day in Arizona. It evaporates before it even touches the ground.

I have taken a wrong turn somewhere and now I am lost down a darkening forest path. There is no light, the trail is thorny and muddled with debris. I can only escape through writing my way out. I stand till awaiting a sound, a whisper, any clue of direction. The trees stand silent, leaves tranquil, forbidden to answer my pleas. The animals retreat to the shadows, alas I must find inspiration in darkest corner and furthest reaches. So I sit where I have been stumped and write.

I let the words guide my pencil until they dry up like the rain. Then I know, the ideas will spring forth once again, and I will light my way from this tumultuous, winding path. Where I will emerge into the pages of a story dripping with freshly spun yarns.

picture courtesy of deviantArt

The Report

When I was little, I remember hearing that God is everywhere. Afterward, I looked at the trees, grass, on houses, cars, the street, pretty much everything. It became apparent God was hiding, because I couldn’t see God. What did it mean, God was everywhere? So, I just looked up. They must have meant God was floating in the clouds somewhere. Then I was really nervous, what if a plane crashed into God? Would the world end? There were too many questions as I thought about it further. Things only became more complicated.

The stench of sweat prickled at my nose. I sat in my seat, my leg jiggling up and down as I reviewed my note cards. A student was already at the front presenting. I was hardly listening. I focused on the Bunsen burner sitting in front of me, useless at the moment. The student who had been at the front returned to her seat. Clapping ensued.

I noticed people turning towards me. “Landon Smith!” Mr. O’Riley called, impatient. He must have just said this right before. My throat was dry. I jumped to my feet and approached the board, still shuffling my note cards. I turned to face the other students, wiping a few beads of sweat from my brow. “Whenever you’re ready, Landon.”

I pushed a some strands of stringy brown hair out of my face and looked at my first note card, “God created the Earth and all life.” I looked up to see the reactions of my classmates. So far, not much. I switched my card and continued, “Dinosaurs existed only because God set their bones here on Earth. We all descend from Noah.” I took a breath. They were looking at me as though I was the plague. I had expected it.

“Evolution is false, so I will not be discussing it,” I ended. There was no clapping. I returned to my seat.

“Mr. Smith, could you please stay after class a moment.” Mr. O’Riley didn’t sound to happy, I nodded.

Three other students, telling interesting stories about homosapiens and dinosaurs, gave their oral reports before the bell rang. There was a clatter of chairs and students filed out of the room. I didn’t move.

“Mr. Smith, I asked you to report on the evolutionary process we have been studying,” said Mr. O’Riley.

“I couldn’t.”

“It is not a matter of belief systems. It is about showing me what you have learned.”

“I’ll take the ‘F’.”

“I will have to contact your parents Mr. Smith, you may go.”

I got up and gently pushed in my chair. I dropped my cards into the recycle bin. Once again I flicked my hair out of my face. I am sure of what I believe. I looked high and low, in the corners and crevices, but I have never found God. I think that’s how you know God is with you. Everywhere you go, you carry God, so God is everywhere. I did the right thing, but my parents will never know. They died when I seven; right before my Grandma told me that thing about God.

Random Poetry

I found these poems in an old notebook of mine. I haven’t seen them in many years. I thought I would share them. They were intriguing. I was also going through a very difficult time. So they seem to have a theme. Anyway, enjoy.

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Traffic

The noise in my head is humming again

stuck in neutral

b b b

e e e

e e e

p p p

the way I see it

I can hit the gas,

but I ricochet off of walls

Of repetition.

A ruthless red that bleeds these ideas

until they are dead.

If only escape were possible

but it is bumper to bumper

until they merge, I’m stuck

in traffic.

Coding

too many feelings

they’re bleeding out of me

a puddle is forming on the floor

code blue – the noise is unbearable

mouth to mouth 1-2-3, 1-2-3,

breathe in  (breathe out)

interrupted again

if I live, these thoughts won’t leave

cannot separate

rage burns alive

must find rest

tip toe, tip toe – back to reality

(peace)

Ending

walking blindly into more bad news

singing deafly into your nightmares

run head-on into these realities

only to dream away your truths

Walk away

Walk away

don’t you cry

but I will die

cannot speak my failures

repeat repeat repeat repeat

breathing rainbows in the sky, fade

cannot speak my failures anymore: was a lie

walk away

walk away

don’t you cry

but I will die

Inevitable.

The Park pt. 2

“Where have you been young lady?” demanded Mama.

“I was just runnin’ in the fields.” whispered Mary, staring at the ground.

Mama saw her holding Donny Jr.’s hand. I went and picked up Davy who was playing in the corner. “Donny Jr. wasn’t with you, was he?”

“No ma’am.” She lied.

“Donny were you with Mary just now in the fields?”

We shot him penetrating looks, hoping he’d get the message, “No, Ma’am. I was out playin with Rascal in the yard.”

I gently swayed Davy on my hip as the wind rattled our windows, hopin Mama would buy his story. She eyed us all suspiciously, but decided to let it go for now.

“Donny go wash up. Then come out here and set the table for dinner. Girls get some beans on the stove and heat up that chicken from last night.” She went back to her program.

I handed Davy to Mama, who put him back on the floor. I followed Mary into the kitchen and washed my hands. The space was hardly big enough for the two of us at the same time, but we had developed a method. If one of us had to open a cabinet or the oven then the other would step out to move. We didn’t even have to tell each other we just knew. When Donny Jr. got back from washin up in the bath room we had all the table stuff out for him.

Mary was workin the beans open with a can opener while the oven heated. Just as we were puttin some cream corn in a pot, Donny Sr. came in the door. Even though he wasn’t our real dad, me and Mary called him Pop all the same, he liked that. I could tell he was in a mood when he came in cause he threw his coat on the couch and didn’t even say hi to Mama. A frown cover his whole bearded face as he sat down to pull off his boots.

“Why is there chew marks on our hose in the front?!” He demanded gruffly. I looked up to watch this exchange.

“Donny Jr. was playin with Rascal out in the yard. He was probably tuggin with him again.” replied Mama.

“The neighbor’s pain in the ass dog? I thought they were gonna keep him tied up now?”

Mama shrugged, lookin up at me. I quietly narrowed my eyes back at the corn and stirred rapidly. Mary was doin the same with the beans next to me even though they were done and the heat was off. We avoided each other’s gazes.

“Donny Jr. I told you not to play with that dog in front of the house alread. He is a no good son of a bitch, that is always makin mischief. Now I gotta buy another new hose. We don’t have any spare money.” Donny Sr. began to unbuckle his belt. I perched over the counter grimacing. I knew what was coming. Now, Donny Jr. might have been playin with Rascal, but when I found him he was with Mary and no matter which way I thought it, I didn’t think he deserved a whippin. I did the only thing I knew, I stepped in front of Donny Jr. just as he cowered and Pop’s belt came down. It landed right across my thighs; I had learned long ago that the less faces you made and the less that you let on it hurt the less whippin you got.

“Girl, what the hell are you doing?! Now get out of my way before you get it good. This is DJ’s punishment.”

“No. It ain’t fair he didn’t do nothin wrong, ‘cept play with rascal.” I stood there in front of our cheaply set, fold out kitchen table, the florescent bulb hanging above me burning through my passionate glares. I barely had time to react cause I didn’t even see the hand coming it moved so fast, but I heard it collide with my cheek. I knew there would be another mark on my  face I’d have to lie about come morning.

“I do not tolerate back talk in this house hold Evangeline, is that understood?”

“Yes, sir.” I shook my head but showed no emotion because that would mean defeat. “May I be excused? I’m not hungry and dinner is ready.” My mother seemed to magically find her voice again.

“Yes, go on now.” I ran off back to my bedroom which I shared with my sister and brother. The baby slept in the room with my parents. I sat on the bottom bunk of the broken down old bunk bed I shared with my sister. I stared at our blank white walls, wishing once again, I was in Neverland, instead of this dumpy old house with parents who didn’t give a rat’s tail about me or my siblings.

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Aside:

This is going to be a much longer piece, eventually. It is a fictionalized story based on the true events of my mother’s life. She is the main character Evangeline (Evy). Of course everyone’s name has been changed.